NRL versus AFL: Penrith Panthers 'most valuable Aussie sport brand'

By Rosie baker | 5 December 2013

On pitch performance, brand and fan loyalty and sponsorship activity have propelled the Penrith Panthers to the top of the league of the most valuable Australian sports brands. A report conducted by Brand Finance valued the NRL club at $46.2m. Despite that, its brand is actually weaker than some of its rivals, according to the firm.

No teams from the Rugby Union, A-League and Big Bash made it onto the top 20 Most Valuable Australian Sports Brands.

The Panthers, who will go up against the Newcastle Knights in the first round, have a significant lead of the next highest valued sports brand the Collingwood Magpies valued at $39.1m.

Although it is valued the most in monetary terms, the Penrith Panthers brand is rated at AA- by Brand Finance. Several clubs had triple A ratings, though all of those bar Collingwood Magpies were AAA-.

Only six NRL teams feature in the top 20 with a combined value of $151m, lagging behind the 14 AFL teams whose combined value reaches $334m. The AFL teams all have greater brand equity that the NRL team brands in the list, according to a linked survey by Landor, excluding the Brisbane Bronco’s which has the strongest brand equity of any team.

The Essendon Bombers brand suffered in the aftermath of the ASADA scandal dropping from AAA- top AA+, although the loyalty of its brand sponsors and fans prevented a bigger fall. Its financial value dropped 5% to $24m.

No teams from the Rugby Union, A-League and Big Bash made it onto the top 20 Most Valuable Australian Sports Brands.

Richard Haigh, Brand Finance Australia director, said: “Branding is important to sports teams because it validates their ability to generate value both on and off the field. This is particularly true amongst Aussie Rules brands which excite incredible brand loyalty but even they were pipped by the Penrith Panthers.”

German team Bayern Munich is valued as the world’s most valuable football brand at 668m Euros. The team overtook Manchester United (650m Euros) earlier this year after winning the Champion’s League in May.

Brand Finance’s report values the sports brands based on a model that imagines the brands were owned by a third party which licenses them and measures the value of royalty payments that the brand would receive.

Click the image to download the report.

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